CSX Classic Cuts

Promotional portrait of the rock band Supertramp, circa 1981. L-R: John Helliwell, Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson, Bob Siebenberg and Dougie Thomson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Supertramp: “Take the Long Way Home”

The Hook: Saxophonist John Helliwell’s unusual clarinet solo was just one of his challenges in performing the song live.

Album: Breakfast in America

Year: 1979

Writers: Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson

Stats: Peaked at number-10 on the Billboard Hot 100

Background: Saxophonist John Helliwell sometimes took on a jack-of-all-trades role in Supertramp. He not only played the signature clarinet solo in “Take the Long Way Home,” he had other challenges when performing the song live.

Supertramp sax and keyboard player John Helliwell on performing “Take the Long Way Home.” OC:…the album. :13

“I always found that rather difficult to play on stage, ‘cause I’m trying to sing and play the synthesizer at the same time on that. I mean, I don’t take the lead or anything, but it’s a kind of tricky vocal arrangement. Lots of vocals overdubbed on the album.”